I live in Germany but for the past five weeks, I have been traveling the States. At the moment, I am visiting my big sister. This morning we skyped with the family back in Germany, and something my mother said hasn’t let me go for a bit. “It’s a drag to skype with [insert my real name here] because she never says anything.”
I am totally cool with her saying that about me. We joked about it. She’s my mom and knows me well, but it made me think.
I know that I’m an introvert and shy, but the truth is that doesn’t mean I don’t like talking. It doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say.
I have people comment on my quietness all the time and honestly, it annoys me. And sometimes it hurts. A lot.
I’ve had people say to me, “Am I talking to much? Well, you don’t like talking so I’ll just continue.”
You know, I’m not asking for all the attention in the world, but maybe it will help for people to know how an introvert can tick. So here’s a random list of my thoughts.
- Don’t assume that quiet people don’t like to or want to talk. Especially in large groups, it is so, so hard for me to say anything. I may have something I would like to say, but I sit there and seriously wonder why everyone else gets the chance to blab but I can’t get a word in edgewise. I just can’t.
- So if you catch that quiet person carefully watching whoever is talking, if you see them holding their breath, they’re probably waiting for their chance to speak. Why not stop and ask for their opinion?
- If your quiet introvert brings up a topic, that probably means it’s very important to them. Ask questions about it and don’t change the topic too quickly. Most likely, he or she has a lot to say about it.
- I know I’m quiet. You don’t have to tell me that. If you would like to talk about it, you can ask me why I think I am so quiet. But then please be interested in the answer; and it sounds selfish, but don’t turn the conversation back to you so quickly. You may need time and sometimes a whole lot of patience to get things out of us. But you know, we take the time to listen to you talk and sometimes that requires a whole lot of patience on our side too. So are we even?
I don’t mind being an introvert. Sometimes I don’t mind not having to say anything. Most times, I prefer being by myself; but I do enjoy getting to know people because the better I know them, the more comfortable I feel around them.
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, quiet or talkative, shy or outgoing, I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Please share your experiences and if you have any helpful tips for getting along with people, feel free to share!